Inside IT
Fun IT That Will Upgrade Your Leisure Activities

What are your hobbies? There are countless hobbies such as cooking, exercising, and DIY interior decorating.

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These leisure activities help us get through our tiring or boring daily lives, and various products with unique technologies are being introduced which make these activities even more fun and convenient.

Today, we’ll take a look at some of these products which are waiting for you on Kickstarter, the world’s largest crowd funding website.

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Crowd funding, in a nutshell, means ‘getting funded by the crowd’. Various types of creators such as developers, artists, and social activists run their projects by getting funded by others.

Crowd funding, which began with Indiegogo in 2008, has created a huge market that’s worth 35 million dollars in Korea, and 16 billion dollars around the globe. Because one can make an investment with a small amount of money, it’s becoming more popular compared to others suffering in low-interest environments. If you would like to learn more about crowd funding, read the article below.

Kickstarter is a platform that connects creators and investors who take part in crowd funding. Since its launch in April of 2009, it has become the most popular website for crowd funding. There are currently over 500 projects in various categories like art, design, music, fashion, and technology, waiting for investments. Then, let’s have a look at what kind of products are waiting for you to invest in and have fun at the same time.

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① DIY Interior Decoration – Acanvas

Paintings on the wall may change the entire ambience of a house. Many of you probably wish you could change the paintings whenever you want to, but the process seems to be complicated and costly. You could buy digital frames, but many of them are designed to sit on tables and need to be charged regularly to keep the monitor displaying the image for an extended period of time.

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Acanvas (Source: https://goo.gl/mMVYqn)

Acanvas presents digital frames which will make decorating your homes much more convenient and fun. Not only can you change images easily using your smart phone, but the frame even charges itself.

The charging terminal will descend and start charging automatically, when the battery is low or when everyone is asleep. Unless there’s a blackout, Acanvas will never turn itself off.

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Acanvas automatic charging system (Source: https://goo.gl/nxpQhl)

Although Acanvas has its headquarters in the U.S., it was established by eight people who used to work for LG Electronics. Acanvas was one of the ideas suggested at the ‘Idea Plant’ event held by the company. It already has exceeded its funding goal by 130%, and is now going through early bird sales. As it hasn’t been launched yet, it will be shipped by the end of 2016.

② Indoor exercise – Trainerbot

Let’s say you’d like to play table tennis. You’d probably need a ball, paddles, a table, and a person to play table tennis with. If the person’s too busy to play with or too good for you to play against, the game either won’t happen or it won’t be much fun even if it does.

There’s an IT product called Trainerbot which is always available and understands your level. Are you picturing a humanoid robot playing table tennis with you?

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Trainerbot (Source: https://goo.gl/BwUBFf)

Trainerbot actually looks like the picture above. It’s small enough to be carried in a bag and very easy to use. Put the Trainerbot on a table, provide power and turn on the app which is connected to Trainerbot through Bluetooth, then start your game. Easy, right?

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Playing table tennis with Trainerbot (Source: https://goo.gl/Xyavc6)

Trainerbot is the table tennis partner that understands the users’ tastes 100 per cent. There are three different levels to adjust, and a number of skills such as smash and shot as well as different ball locations can be combined to create a number of practice routines.

Trainerbot is actually not the first table tennis robot. About Four products including iPong Pro, Newgy1040 had already been developed. Yet, Trainerbot has features that definitely surpass other products.

First, it can be carried around easily. Unlike other products that are big and heavy, Trainerbot only weighs 1.2kg and is small enough to be carried in your bag.

Second, it can be operated through a phone app. Trainerbot is the only table tennis robot that can be controlled this way.

Lastly, it’s wireless. Because it’s controlled via Bluetooth, it doesn’t require any lines or plugs.

As the funding deadline for Trainerbot is approaching, it has reached 139% of its original funding goal, and it’s opened the early bird sales option. You can buy the bot and thirty table tennis balls for only 329 dollars. Get a training buddy that will be with you to play anytime and anywhere you want.

③ Outdoor Exercise – VI

Lots of people resume their outdoor workout plans, as the weather gets cooler. Looking at people exercise at parks, you’ll notice that many people are very equipped using devices or smart phone apps even when doing simple workouts like walking or jogging.

I use apps sometimes for my workout as well, but soon I find myself playing with the phone more than exercising. VI, your verbal training coach, is created to keep you focused.

VI in the image above looks just like regular earphones, but what matters is the AI training coach inside. VI checks not only the wearer’s internal environment such as heart rate, heart rate changes, and speed through the embedded sensor, but also the external environment including location, weather, and altitude. VI analyzes the data in real time to find the best speed and work rate for each user.

The fact that you can talk to VI makes you feel like your coach is standing right next to you. It also lets you know your workout plan for the next day.

If you had planned an outdoor workout but it starts raining, then VI will find an indoor workout that will replace the scheduled exercise. VI will recommend either to increase the running speed when the user has extra energy, or to slow down when he or she feels exhausted.

VI doesn’t just talk but also coaches you through an app. It will give you feedback during exercise, and help you create a new workout plan by analyzing collected data. The device will provide convenient call reception and audio function using Harman Kardon technology, on top of the listed coaching functions.

The deadline for VI funding was July 20th, but it already has gotten much more than 100,000 dollars which is the goal they originally set. You can start funding from as little as 199 dollars, and the products will be sent starting in December.

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Did you find anything you would like to chip your money in towards? There are other various options such as a 3D printer for ‘kidults’, earphones suited for music, and electronic bikes on Kickstarter that will upgrade your leisure activities.

As technology advances, we get to make our lives more fun, exciting, and convenient. By taking part in crowd funding, you can not only have fun, but also make small investments. Keep your free time fun with these interesting products, and share the joy with your friends.

Written by Borim Kim, LG CNS Student Reporter

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